Saturday, February 24

10th Nifty 50 exceed expectations - Results and Photos

Glorious sunshine enveloped Mondello Park today from early morning for the Nifty 50 endurance race. Scrutiny and sign on was brief allowing the riders on track for practice just before 10am. Racing began at 11.15 with the typical “Le Mans” style start.

Smiling faces graced the entirety of the paddock and surrounds as the race continued until just after 3pm. A few minor incidents were dealt with quickly by the marshals, recovery crews and medics allowing racing to continue uninterrupted. 2 riders required some extra treatment.

The day passed quickly as running repairs were made, bikes refuelled and riders changed. A few machines succumbed to the pace however and had to be retired before the finish of the race where some teams managed more than 150 laps.

Many thanks to all involved race officials, marshals, medical staff, spectators, photographers and riders who turned up to support this 10th anniversary Nifty 50 race.

Details of the winning teams chosen charities will be announced at a later date.

Class results below

ABR Moto
Driving Miss Daisy
Funky Junkys

90cc standard
Team Numpties
Bottoms Up

Team Cider
9-5 Work Week Prisoners
Town Mates

Words: Andy Quinn

Images: ‘Big’ Joe Connolly

Friday, February 23

Nifty 50 - Ready, Set, Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

This time tomorrow the annual Nifty 50 will be in full swing and the grid is packed!

The weather appears to be kind, in that we're expecting cool but dry conditions for racing.

Scrutiny is open this evening as will be the bar in Mondello, but steady on as proceedings kick off early in the morning with sign on at 8.

There a 14 garages available for repairs, shelter and therapy. Each garage should accommodate 8 teams, so please make space for all.

Please remember to bring your licenses, entry forms and race gear!

Admission to the 2018 Nifty Fifty is €12.50 for adults with under 16’s admitted free and the event can be followed via Mondello Park's on-line live timing but, we'd prefer that you made your way down to Mondello to support the teams and indeed the charities. The charities will be nominated by the winning teams later on.

Many thanks to all that have given up their time to support this fun event. Officials, photographers, teams, marshals, Medical personnel and spectators.

Has the makings of another classic race.

Enjoy and see you in the morning,

Andy Quinn\Ed Byrne 

Images courtesy of Jimmy Windows, James McCann and 'Big' Joe Connolly

Thursday, February 15

The Nifty 50 Endurance Race is back - February 24th Mondello park

The racing season still has yet to begin, but already there’s a stir in the sheds of many, prepping oriental super singles for battle.

Yes, the Nifty 50 is nearly upon us again...

This annual charitable event has grown legs over the years and is always a tremendous success. It makes absolutely no sense why folks would spend so much time and effort for a non-championship event in almost guaranteed cold damp conditions but, Mondello does its best to be hospitable.

From its humble beginnings, stemming from the mind of closet egomaniac Ed Byrne, with the help of our fallen friend Aidan Lynam the Nifty 50 endurance race has grabbed the attention of many. Past entrants include MotoGP stars Jeremy McWilliams and Scott Redding, NW200 winner Glenn Irwin, TT racer Guy Martin as well as Irish regulars Cody Nally and Derek Sheils.

Photographers, officials, marshals on the banks, timekeepers and spectators come in droves to support this madness and donate cash to the 3 charities nominated by the class winners.

This year’s Nifty 50 returns to Mondello Park on Saturday February 24th with racing commencing at 11 (ish). More information is available on our Facebook page.

At the end of the day, 3 teams go home champions, but in my book all involved are winners.

Words: Andy Quinn

Images courtesy John Burke, James Foley, Joe Connolly and James McCann

Saturday, February 10

Caolán Irwin "up a gear" in 2018 BSB Superstock 600 championship

Caolán Irwin will move up to the 2018 British Superstock 600 and will ride a 2018 Yamaha R6 with backing from Clean Rubber Sligo and Oasis Bar Letterkenny. The team have received backing from Crank Racing and Sean Mc Kenny Construction as they partake in the 12 round series starting in Donington Park at the end of March.

“I’m delighted to be moving over to the British Superstock 600 championship and to go on the new R6 was an added draw as I had a lot of success on the old model last year in Thundersport. I had several options to consider at the end of 2017 so I discussed it with two of my main long term sponsors Galfee and Wesley who have backed my racing since I started and the plan just evolved. One of the main things I wanted to try and achieve this year was to keep the same mechanics as last year, so I'm really excited to have Ray Simpson and Wesley Regan back on the spanners at the races, Shane Wogan doing the engines and Mark Arnott doing my suspension. This will be the first time I've ever had a proper testing programme so can't wait to get started. We have built the bike from scratch and I have to say a special thanks to Shane Wogan, James Halligan, Mark Arnott and the boys at K-Tech for getting everything done in time for testing”

"I also have to say a special thanks to all my sponsors and my Mum and Mad who have made this possible"

The team now turns it attentions to their first test with the new machine in Guadix Spain on the 15th of February.

Image courtesy of Colin Port

Thursday, February 8

New challenge for Team Rash Racing

We are pleased to announce for 2018 that we will be contesting the Ulster Superbike Cup championship on our new ZX10R.

It's been 5 good fun years racing in the Formula 1 class, winning the championship 3 of those years and holding the class lap record at bishopscourt, kirkiston and mondello. I'll miss riding the ZX7RR, but it's time for it to go into retirement.

I will also be contesting the Masters Classic Superbike Championship on a ZXR750 supplied by Jason Doyle and build by myself. This year's season is made possible by my sponsors, the Portside Inn and Scott Bell at SBR speedshop who have been with me right from the start.

New sponsors for this year are my good friends  Jason Doyle and Dave Moran from Moran's Bodyshop. Castrol Oils are supplying their Power 1 racing oil. Michael Huey at huey brakes lines for his race proven pads and lines. Lee Clarke at slicker stickers for the brilliant job on the colour scheme and lastly the Dynojet UK rider scheme.

If anyone else would like to help this season, please message us on Facebook or email


Wednesday, January 31

NW Racing sign Darren Cooper for National and International roads campaign

After a lot of soul searching, Noel Williamson Racing will be back in action for 2018, when they will have the services of Darren Cooper, who won the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix last season, and he also finished second in the Junior race, and 9th in the Senior. The Preston rider is involved in the building trade, and is the owner of several bars. He first started on a road bike at 16, but a trip to the Manx Grand Prix in 1998, saw him knocked off his bike, and injured. “The money I got from the crash saw me get a race bike, a car and trailer, leathers, boots and a helmet, and that was the start of my racing” said Darren

Early in his career, Darren has raced and scored points in British Supersport, and then decided to concentrate on setting up his businesses.” I came back with a little more money and raced in the Newcomers Manx in 2015, where I finished third, and I also posted the fastest lap in the Junior race. The following year I had a fourth in the Twin race and a seventh place in the Senior, and last year I had a First and a Second”

Darren will also bring his own 600 and 650 Kawasaki’s to the team and Noel Williamson will be providing a new BMW 1000 Superstock for the talented rider.
“I am looking forward to being back racing this year and having Darren on board. Darren certainly knows his way around the Island and it should be a very interesting year. He will have the new BMW S1000RR for the season, where we will be racing at most of the Irish national races, as well as the NW200, IOM TT and Ulster GP” said Noel.

“We hope to attend the Southern 100 and the Scarborough meetings also. I watched Darren at Skerries and at the Manx last year, and I was very impressed with his riding and attitude. In January this year we made the decision to race again. Darren is a very fast rider and we have the right team built around him. He could certainly be one to watch”

“I am delighted also to see him race on the Irish roads, where I feel that he will give an excellent account of himself. It will also be great for the fans to see a rider of his talent coming over, and I am really looking forward to seeing the bikes out on the roads this year”

The Team are delighted to have the following sponsors on board; NWP LTD, MJ DAVIDSON GROUNDWORKS, P&SL HAULAGE, BROPHY 22 CRANE HIRE, LIFELOCKEDIN,, FLUE-STOX and JMC. Jack Corry

Words and images Jack Corry

Monday, January 29

End of an Era for the Two Stroke Supporters Club

Sixteen years after its foundation, and with over 90k put back into the sport, it’s now the end of an era for the TSRSC (Two Stroke Racing Supporters Club). Founded in 2002 following the death of Gary Dynes, the club was originally called the Gary Dynes Foundation, with the simple aim, to keep the 250 class alive.

Following their inaugural Press Launch, at the North Monaghan Road Races, one year on from the passing of their hero, the club announced a €7.700 prize fund for the 2003 road race series, and hoped that in the future, that the 125 class would be included in their prize funds.

From small acorns, grow giant oaks, and this small but dedicated club went from strength to strength, and they added the 125 class to their championship in 2004, and like the 250 class, it would be run in conjunction with the road race clubs.  However a few years later, the club had to change their stance, due to some clubs not paying out the prize fund that was agreed. The club then decided to run a championship for both the 125 and 250 classes, separate from the road races themselves, with prize money being paid down to tenth in both classes, with the top three also receiving trophies. This was well received by the riders.

Over the years, the club membership grew from a mere eleven to almost three hundred such was the support for the Two Strokes. Past winners of the clubs championships include, Michael & William Dunlop, Davy Morgan, Micko Sweeney, Barry Davison, Neil Kernohan (twice a winner) and in the 125 class, Paul Robinson, Nigel Moore & Adam McLean to name  a few.

Along with many Fundraisers, the club were indebted to their sponsors, the first being the late Milton Thom of the Royal Hotel Cookstown, Gary Ryan of Street Sweep, Derek Wray (D&G Racing),Ollie Grimes of Ollies Place in Skerries, not forgetting the late Archie Knipe from Cookstown, for his many generous donations over the years. The late Eric Lyons, of Ironside Trophies, who supplied all the clubs trophies and silverware, and Pete Wilbernham, who took care of the James Crompton Award, (best overseas rider).

Founder Joe Wright (better known to many as Two Stroke Joe) said, “This will come as a shock to many, but over the past few months, I have been deliberating as to whether the TSRSC should continue or not, sadly I have decided to wind up the two stroke racing supporters club, mainly due to lack of support from both riders and fans alike. Raising funds, organizing awards nights, and competitors not turning up, certainly have weighed heavily in my decision”

“I do feel bad about my decision, I feel I am letting down the genuine riders, but on reflection I, along with the committee members are proud of the fact, that over the 15 years, we raised over 90k all of which was put back into prize funds for the Two Stroke classes. We set out to save the Two Stroke class, which looked to be on its knees back in 2002. I would like to think that with the clubs dedication, we were able to give, both riders and spectators many more years of top class two stroke racing. For the committee, this has been a hard decision to take, but in reality, it is also the right time to fold.  ”

“I would like to thank EVERYONE for their support, riders, club sponsors and members, without your support none of this would have happened. The main trophies will remain in the sport, so the two stroke memories will always remain”

Joe Wright

Wednesday, January 24

Sean Griffin - Classic or Classy Superbiker?

I am racing in the Classic Superbike Championship since its inception in 2014 on a 1993 Yamaha YZF750R and am from Cork.

I am 50 years of age since October last year so probably should have more sense but it’s an itch I had since I was 21 and eventually it had to be scratched. I began doing trackdays since 2000 and various hillclimbs around cork including drag racing etc. My first foray into trackdays was on a Yamaha 350 YPVS motor in a Honda VT 250 chassis which was interesting to say the least. I then moved on to a VFR 400 that I converted into a trackbike and had some great times on that torturing R6s in Mondello. I eventually moved up to a 1992 Tony Scott powered CBR 600 which I promptly crashed and wrecked, back to road bikes and a 04 ZX10 and lots of trackdays on various tracks in England. Then I stopped doing anything with trackdays in 2011 due to the financial meltdown we all had to endure.

Then at a race meeting in Mondello 2013 I met Mike Meskell spectating and got talking and next thing I knew I was on the grid in 2014. Fast forward to a learning season in 2014 and a second place in class in the Roberts Cove hill climb. Next season 2015 absolute disaster with the bike refusing to run properly at all and getting lapped constantly I eventually reached a low point and retired in disgust from a race and flung my helmet across the garage. Only for my brother Liam who helps me usually on the Sundays of race weekends my bike would have landed on the ground. Eventually at the season end I diagnosed the problem as faulty carbs and promptly filed them in the bin. They were replaced with a filthy set I acquired from Hogan motorcycles in Nenagh and ended the season with another second place in class in the Roberts Cove Hill climb 2015.

Next season 2016 I began to get back to enjoy my racing again with an winter engine rebuild by myself ( first time building a 4 stroke )and struggled to get results with a slow bike and running second hand slicks due to lack of funds, it was a frustrating season in some ways as I believed I could run closer to the front on better machinery. I also had my first win at the Roberts Cove hillclimb.

And the 2017 season was much the same with very limited funds but ended on a high note as I found myself leading a race for the first time in the last meeting on 2017. The race was a wet race and I was leading easily from series winner Brian Murphy on his Ducati and couldn’t believe how easy it was. Then red flags put an end to that. The race resumed, Brian set off like a scalded cat and I got a bad start but after dispensing with Robin Heatcote I set about chasing Brian. With only a 3-lap race it was a big ask but I caught him at the last corner. Brian put me in my place in 2nd but I couldn’t complain finishing the season on a high. I finished the 2017 season in third place in the championship so happy with that considering the bike I was on. The only downside to the season being David Morans accident (we had become good friends through racing and were plotting what we were going to do for the 2018 season with some trips up north). Dave still has a long road to recovery but is making progress.

Now for the big news! I purchased Tim O`Kennedy’s very nice YZF750SP in October and am hoping for big things for myself and the bike for the 2018 season. The bike holds the class record on the international track in Mondello plus I am also hoping to do a round of the F1 championship up North during the summer, funds permitting.

I could badly do with some sponsorship to fund my season this year especially with entries and tyres, so if anyone would like to help me out and have your name on a very trick bike please contact me on 0861957741 anytime. Any sponsorship small or big would be appreciated. 

Tuesday, January 16

Rider profile - James Cottrell

Brilliant chat with "Veteran" racer James Cottrell!

I am racing four years this is the first year in super-twins and trying to adjust to the bike or lack of. My dad is bike mad so all of us were on bikes at a young age, even my wife takes a bike for a spin and my son Dean is known for blowing an engine or two so we we are all reared on WD40. Well this Super-Twin racing is some craic, it's a lot different then Pre-injection as Production bikes are in the mix, with leaving cert students high on spot cream making gaps in the tyre walls. I found myself in there too but I don't bounce well, so off to Naas A&E for a ceiling staring competition. You get some mix of lads and lassies on the grid from top road racers UGP winners, Manx and international riders. You never know who's on the program so if you are running 4th or 5th one weekend the next you are out of the points, but tyres do last a long time and so does an overtake! Sod all brake horse power means you see a lot of funny facial expressions from riders, pit crews, marshals, one eye photographers and the angry chequered flag guys. This year we got 3rd in masters and 3rd in the Irish championships & awarded 3rd in Southern Star, all of which I am honoured and humbled by, I just can't believe it! This means a lot for a old man like me , all of which I could not have done without our team. Our little team consist of four riders, Nigel Colgan, Dicky Walsh, Dominic Cottrell, my brother, who keeps having a go on the brakes & myself. Together we consume a lot of Mam's sausages! The pit crew is my son Dean,Dad, my wife Sandra, and our nearest competitor as their board is far more accurate. The weekend for us involves our families, with our kids on bike's getting a shout out from the tower, to our wives and sisters-in-law shouting at the bar. Its the lads first race year and they have done well competing on all tracks to get their A license, as the road is all they talk about, that and ER's SV's down on power, chicken fried rice, beer. If any one is thinking about starting racing or falling with style this is the class to be as there is mainly two different type of bike Er650 & sv650 so plenty of spare parts in the paddock and always someone to race with as the grids are mainly full.

Not sure who the photo owner is

Thursday, January 11

Assessment day information

Entry forms for the track day and the newcomers assessment day on the 11th of March 2018 in Mondello Park are now available to download Here .

The morning will be a track day for current licence holders only and it's first come first served. The newcomers will have classroom activities in the morning and track time in the afternoon.

If you have a problem just ring Sheila on 0868762185. Places are limited on both activities so it's important to get entries in. At the moment there is no provision for a second assessment day.

If you are going to Cartagena just be aware that your bike will not be back in time and a race bike is needed for the assessment.